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A kneaded eraser is an essential artists’ tool for erasing, yes, but also for blurring edges, highlighting, and using other subtractive drawing techniques. It is made of a flexible gummy material that you can mold to any form or take a small piece of to access hard-to reach areas. Most often, artists use a press-and-lift technique with kneaded erasers rather than rubbing them across surfaces. This method leaves paint undisturbed and does not damage even soft paper. Kneaded erasers are versatile and absorb graphite, charcoal, pastel, and chalk on contact. Browse our selection of the best kneaded erasers below.
ARTNEWS RECOMMENDSFaber-Castell Kneaded EraserSimply press this eraser onto graphite for a noticeably clean lift, even in heavily shaded areas. The Faber-Castell kneaded eraser is quite flexible, making it nonabrasive and easy to knead quickly. It also stays soft for a long time when stored correctly. Note that the “medium” size is quite small (measuring less than 1 square inch); the two larger sizes are a better value and more useful.
Faber-Castell Kneaded Eraser
WE ALSO LIKEBlick Kneaded EraserUsing Blick’s eraser is a painless experience—once you put in some elbow grease at the start. The plastic wrapper is adhesive and tears easily, making it time-consuming to remove. Once you succeed, the eraser itself feels dense and hard, but dedicate a few minutes to warming it up with kneading and it becomes an excellent eraser. The consistency is not too gooey or too firm, so it is easy to stretch and holds a point for erasing small details. Plus, it is latex- and PVC-free, so those worried about their health or allergies can rest assured.
Blick Kneaded Eraser
ANOTHER OPTIONPrismacolor Kneaded Rubber EraserThe Prismacolor kneaded eraser (formerly the Design kneaded eraser, for the eraser nerds who are keeping track) is excellent at lifting marks off the page. It’s firm yet buttery, making it a pleasure to use to push and pull charcoal. It also works remarkably well at lightening colored pencil. Occasionally these Prismacolor erasers are hard and nearly impossible to knead from the moment you open the package. Whether that is a quality control issue at the company or something else, it bears noting, though it appears retailers are aware of the problem.
Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Eraser
ALSO A GOOD CHOICEGeneral’s Kneaded EraserAnyone who has used a block eraser knows the aggravating experience of a workspace covered with eraser shreds. Kneaded erasers are a good choice generally for a mess-free experience, and General’s U.S.-made offering is particularly clean. The soft and pliable eraser lifts pencil marks and charcoal off the page and will not disturb watercolor or other paints. Even when rubbing is required, it does not shed. Besides being latex- and PVC-free, it is also lanolin-free, which is a plus for those with sensitive skin.
General’s Kneaded Eraser
ALSO CONSIDERLyra Kneadable EraserOne point of annoyance with kneaded erasers is that, because they are so good at lifting marks off the page, they are also good at lifting everything else off your desk, drawer, or drawing bag. Their stickiness makes them difficult to clean and difficult to transport. Considering all that, it’s a wonder more kneaded erasers don’t come in a carrying case. The Lyra kneaded eraser comes in a small, unobtrusive plastic box that keeps your eraser clean, soft, and portable. The eraser itself is very pliable and easy to use, lifting even soft pencil marks with ease.
Lyra Kneadable Eraser
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1. Faber-Castell Erasers
Faber-Castell’s product is a go-to choice for artists and students, a mainstay in classrooms and studios alike. This pack includes four dark gray kneaded erasers perfect for lightening charcoal, pencil, and pastel work. Each eraser comes with its own plastic storage case so you can keep it clean and flexible.
2. June Gold Kneaded Rubber Erasers
Stock up on kneaded erasers with June Gold’s pack. This set includes six erasers made of absorbent, flexible rubber. Perfect for brightening and blending charcoal, pastel, chalk, colored pencils, and graphite, these erasers can easily be molded to any shape, and you can use them on a variety of surfaces without worrying about leaving rubber residue.
June Gold Kneaded Rubber Erasers
3. Witsun Kneaded Rubber Erasers
Students will love the multicolor selection of kneaded erasers this pack has to offer. Featuring 12 erasers in bright blue, green, yellow, and red, Witsun’s pack puts the fun in functional. These erasers are easily manipulated to any shape and are suited to lighten a variety of media.
4. Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers
Prismacolor’s pack includes two gray kneaded rubber erasers you can mold into any shape. An ideal eraser for pencil, charcoal, and chalk, this product leaves surfaces smooth and bright. A great tool for shading, blending, and lightening, this product won’t pill or tear your surface material.
Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers
5. General Pencil Jumbo Kneaded Eraser
Go big or go home. At 4.5 inches square, General Pencil’s jumbo eraser is suited for removing or lightening chalk, charcoal, and pastels on the page or canvas. This rubber eraser molds to any shape and is large enough to be broken into two or three good-sized erasers. It leaves any surface smooth and bright without damaging the surface material.
General Pencil Jumbo Kneaded Eraser